Build your Jumping Skills
By Anne Kursinski With Miranda Lorraine
In this exercise, you’ll ride the same line two ways, first as a straight line and then as a bending line. In both, the way you turn to the first fence is the most crucial part of the exercise because it’s in this turn that you establish your line, the guiding function of your eyes and the rhythm and pace to take you through successfully. Study the diagram and be sure you understand the line—the approach as well as the center section—for both variations. As long as you do understand, your correct position will enable you to use the other skills effectively; just by looking where you want to go, you’ll automatically signal to your body how much hand and leg it must apply to take you there.
Set a single low vertical—2 feet high or 18 inches if that makes you feel more comfortable—with ground rails on both sides. Place the fence about a third of the way down the middle of your working space. (Set all your fences this way for the following exercises so that they can be ridden in either direction. That gives you added variety without added effort.)
Set your second fence at a slight angle to the first, 72 feet away (measure the distance by walking directly from the center of the first fence to the center of the second). To help you understand the lines I want you to ride, use two cones or markers. Set one cone just inside where you’d need to turn in to ride a straight line that meets the centers of both fences on the diagonal; put a second cone halfway between the two fences just slightly to the right of the straight line.
Coming around your ring at a normal canter pace, turn so that your track takes you just to the outside of the first cone. Looking ahead, you’ll see a straight line across the middle of both fences (line A in the drawing) passing just to the inside of the second cone. If you find this line and maintain your normal canter pace, the distance between fences will ride as a smooth five strides.
Remember to keep your line straight, which means that you’re going to meet both fences in the center—but at a bit of an angle. Read the entire article.
Horses are a Reflection of their Riders
By Kimberly F. Miller
for Practical Horseman Magazine
Jennifer Harper grew up in
Los Angeles, California, in the late 1970s, admiring the adventures of Jimmy Williams’ cadre of young super talents at the Flintridge Riding Club—Anne Kursinski chief among them.
Much has transpired since then. An amateur hunter rider, Jennifer has juggled saddle time with earning advanced degrees in art history and prominent positions in the art world, including her current post at the Portland Art Museum. Anne, meanwhile, became a five-time Olympian, two-time Olympic silver medalist and a successful coach, author and clinician.
Jennifer always counted Anne an idol, so it was a dream come true to saddle up for her on a chilly, drizzly Portland morning on Saturday, April 11. Writing about the ripple effect Anne’s visit could have to the equestrian community in Portland, Jennifer won Practical Horseman’s Training with the Stars: Win A Day with Anne Kursinski contest sponsored in partnership with Finish Line, Back on Track and Nutrena. Along with nine friends from Linda and Wade Worley’s Cornerstone Hunters & Jumpers, Jennifer enjoyed a day of knotted reins, dropped stirrups, discarded martingales and counting strides (forward, always!). It was all in service to the notion that horses are reflections of their riders—in their turnout and tack, for sure, but more importantly in their way of going and behavior. Read the entire article
Photo: Contest winner Jennifer Harper and Anne Kursinski at the clinic | © Mary Cornelius
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